Worcestershire reached 85-2 off 34 overs by lunch on the opening day of the LV = County Championship Division Two top two meeting with Hampshire at New Road today.

The county made one change from the side which drew at Surrey with spinner Shaaiq Choudhry, now recovered from a broken thumb, replacing Moeen Ali after his England Test call-up.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket which had been in operation for yesterday's NatWest T20 Blast victory over Durham.

Mitchell picked up the first boundary of the morning when he turned James Tomlinson off his legs. His opening partner Matt Pardoe got off the mark with a three steered down to third man off Matt Coles.

He then edged the same bowler between first and second slip for his first boundary. Mitchell again found the ropes with a clip off his legs off Tomlinson while Pardoe square drove Coles to the boundary.

Hampshire made a double bowling change with David Balcombe and Sean Eervine replacing Coles and Tomlinson. Mitchell and Pardoe advanced the total to 35 in 16 overs before the former on 12 drove at Balcombe and was caught behind by Michael Bates.

Tom Fell came to the wicket and collected his first four off Balcombe through mid-wcket. Spin was introduced for the first time at 47-1 off 20 overs in the form of Danny Briggs.

The 50 came up in the 22nd over when Fell flicked Balcombe through mid wicket and a similar shot off Briggs Tomlinson returned to the attack and trapped Pardoe lbw for 21 with the total on 64 in the 26th over.

Alexei Kervezee produced a fine flowing drive which brought him four off Coles who returned for a second spell. By lunch he had moved onto 14 and Fell 15.